➺ [Reading] ➼ A Stone Boat By Andrew Solomon ➯ – Larringtonlifecoaching.co

10 thoughts on “A Stone Boat

  1. says:

    I came across A Stone Boat by accident, not realizing that Andrew Solomon had ever written a novel Solomon is a tremendously gifted writer who uses language in creative and unique ways It is what propelled me through Far From The Tree, which was a book of great breadth and sensitivity, and what kept me going with A Stone Boat By the first 30 or 40 pages I was thrilled, thinking I had found a book that was going to tell a moving story about a mother son relationship and about death and dying By 100 pages my excitement was waning and by the end I found I just had to push through the pages of philosophizing The problem, I realized, is that the characters are never fleshed out enough for me to feel compassion for them Harry, the narrator, is a young concert pianist who doesn t just adore his mother but swims in her love to the point where he can t love anyone else His homosexuality is both a part of the story with his mother, but also removed from her The father and brother are both only sketches, despite the mother s love for them, so that the reader is given a skewed perception of Harry and his mother s relationship Because of this, Harry comes across as perhaps pampered than he is and somewhat pouty If A Stone Boat had been written in the third person I perhaps wouldn t have minded being annoyed with Harry and the mother But it is Harry s voice speaking which makes it incumbent upon Solomon to make that voice one the reader is eager to hear About three quarters of the way into the book, as Harry pursues a sexual liaison with a man named Nick and recites a long monologue about how difficult pleasures are better than easy pleasure in lofty and lengthy fashion, all I could think was, Who talks like this I didn t want to hear any By the time the mother dies, the reader has seen growth in her but none in Harry He seems little changed, although perhaps he understands himself better But he is still unable to manage a relationship with a lover or, it seems, with his father and brother A Stone Boat was originally written in 1994 and, since then, Solomon has been best known for non fiction Based upon Solomon s beautiful writing style and his willingness to take on difficult subjects, I would love to see him try fiction again, as an older and experienced writer.

  2. says:

    A phenomenally well written meditation eulogy about the loss of a beloved mother Having lost my mother at a young age, I have not encountered until these pages a books dealing with loss as a young man in his twenties Though this is fiction the emotions and feelings evoked by Mr Solomon s writing are as real as any I have felt If tears are memories, this novel brought back memories of my mother, helped reconsider forgotten pieces in different lenses making them special and vibrant.An exceptional read.

  3. says:

    i wish solomon would publish a stone boat is one of the best contemporary novels i ve ever read.

  4. says:

    This is the first book I have read by Andrew Solomon, and I will certainly read This is an absorbing story of a young man s relationship with his mother, and the devastation wrought by her death Solomon writes beautifully and evocatively his descriptions of Harry s mother are particularly vivid, so that the story unfolds in front of you as if you are watching a film I only gave it five stars because towards the end I became a little impatient with all the introspective agonising and self doubt.

  5. says:

    A Stone Boat deserves the four star rating I grappled giving it The challenge for me was the heavy reading that was outside my comfort zone An entire novel dealing primarily with the dying process of Harry s mother was not always comfortable However, it s power for me was that it made me reflect upon a time long ago when I had to deal with my mother s death Although we all go through intense emotions when enduring the dying process of a loved one, Harry s way of dealing felt overly self absorbing However, as I ve learned from personal experience, we all handle death differently Although there were times I didn t want to pick this book up, I remained emotionally connected when I wasn t reading as I continued to reflect back upon a time when I had to deal with my mother s death I realize that this was healthy for me in the sense that I needed to process some deep emotions that hadn t been thought through Also testing my comfort zone was Harry s deep depression and some of his lifestyle Although I am supportive of people in gay relationships and of gay marriage, some of Harry s encounters were tough to read through I didn t find Solomon s writing overly graphic as he communicated well with what felt to be great honesty Such clear lucid writing coupled with his ability to engage me through such uncomfortable topics is most certainly deserving of a four star rating.

  6. says:

    I picked this up for 1 in an op shop, and chose it purely because of The Noonday Demon, which is an amazing piece of work The first 20 or 30 pages were great, and I was really looking forward to seeing how the novel unfolded but it just didn t Maybe it s because Harry, as a character, is too affected, too introspective, too precious, and I just couldn t relate to him Maybe it s because the concept of a lifestyle that involves endless flights across the Atlantic, luxury laden holidays and staff staff is too alien to me What ever the reason, I found myself wanting to slap Harry, to tell him to be grateful for everything he has and to stop wasting his life No one else in the novel seemed prepared to do that, not even Helen, who appears to have known him forever and is portrayed as having her head screwed on Although there was one point in the novel where she does something that left me thinking, Are you kidding, girl Most of the characters speak with such earnestness that they seem to me as caricatures of themselves Freddy seems to be the only one who speaks like a human being and he hardly says anything I did read the entire book, but I m pretty sure there were entire paragraphs that I glazed over, reading with my eyes but not with my mind Disappointing, because Andrew Solomon is definitely a great writer but maybe only of nonfiction.

  7. says:

    I don t think I ve ever a read an emptier book on dying, death, and grief The characters are all deeply unlikeable, and not in an interesting way The writing is precious at best, and sloppy at worst I recall thinking that The Noonday Demon was a good book, so I thought I d give this novel a go One might think that an author who could write so compellingly about depression, might be able to manage a novel on death and dying A Stone Boat defies such an assumption At some point I had to decide whether to cross the Rubicon and continue with the novel I hate giving up on books, but then I also hate wasting time on bad books when there are so many good ones waiting to be read The former trait won out over the latter conviction, and so I carried on with it I think I could have squeezed two good books into the time frame it took me to read this bad one Time lost it s its own kind of grief.

  8. says:

    The story is written from the point of view of Harry, the son who was homosexual and wanted to confront his mother about it, only to learn instead that she was terminally ill From here starts the melodramatic narration of a wide set of emotions stirred when a loved one is lost I wanted to sympathize with Harry Really But i couldn t.It felt like reading the ramblings of a selfish and whiny person He was too wordy, too dramatic And by the time i finished reading, i was already exhausted from all the i s.

  9. says:

    Oh curse my OCD that just won t allow me to walk away from a book mid read This book was not what I expected It was on a recommended reading list of an author who has two boys and chose a small, but broad variety of books to recommend to readers of Cookie magazine The book wasn t as much focused on the brotherly bond, as I was led to believe, but on how the mother s slow death of cancer affected her youngest son It was depressing A few nuggets here and there and my inability to abandon a book helped me slowly get through it Skip it.

  10. says:

    Exhausting but rewarding Ummm that is all.

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A Stone Boat download A Stone Boat, read online A Stone Boat, kindle ebook A Stone Boat, A Stone Boat 36ba537e2d0a Andrew Solomon Tells An Exquisitely Perceptive Story Of Family, Identity, And The Changes Wrought By Grief And Loss Harry, An Internationally Celebrated Concert Pianist, Arrives In Paris To Confront His Glamorous Mother About His Homosexuality Instead, He Discovers That She Is Terminally Ill In An Attempt To Escape His Feelings Of Guilt And Depression At The Prospect Of Her Death, He Embarks On A Series Of Intense Love Affairs That Force Him To Question His Sexual Identity But As Time Runs Out And Tragedy Looms Closer, It Is The Relationship Between Harry And His Mother That Emerges In All Its Stark Simplicity And Purity Part Eulogy And Part Confession, A Stone Boat Is A Luminous And Moving Evocation Of The Love Between A Son And His Mother